The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.
The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands. Evan Malcolm

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

THE news that Live Action has bought the Splendour and Falls Festivals fails to reveal the big plan for the Yelgun site which is currently before the NSW Government. North Byron Parklands is seeking to have the festivals declared a State Significant Development with permanency for 12 events per year for up to 50,000 patrons and 8 events per year for up to 25,000 patrons.

The Land & Environment Court recently disallowed a challenge by Parklands to allow the Minister for Planning to grant the approval. Under normal circumstances, once the five year trial ends next year, the Byron Council would be the approval authority and the Environment & Planning Act.

It's pretty clear that the corporations behind Parklands have the intention of transforming Byron into the festival city of the east coast (as quoted in mainstream media). There is simply no consideration for residents and ratepayers and the extraordinary loss of amenity and lifestyle which would be the result of a State government approval.

During the trial, community organisations have documented a significant number of breaches of consent conditions. But the Planning Department has little consideration or for community opposition or evidence of breaches and the Baird government has demonstrated repeatedly its preference to represent the big money rather than the people.

Byron ratepayers are being told that massive increases in rates will soon be a reality - to pay for road damage and infrastructure. In effect, l5,500 ratepayers are being asked to subsidise the damage which l.5 million visitors inflict on the Shire annually. If the NSW government gives Parklands the go ahead, Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs. No bed tax, no tourist tax. Locals can fork out for the invasion.

To allow the big end of town to take over this beautiful Shire is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. Just imagine what Byron will become with hundreds of thousands of festival goers jamming up beaches, cafes, roads, supermarkets, parking spaces, the hospital.

The lack of any respect for the Byron community shown by Parklands is a manifestation of how big business regards the public. We're a collective pest that can be quickly exterminated by flashing dollar bills.

Sue Arnold

Australians for Animals Inc.

Ocean Shores.

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